Problems mount for Sri Lankan cricket

July 8, 2011 (AFP) – Only three months ago, Sri Lanka were battling it out with India in the World Cup final but they have since gone from controversy to scandal to full-blown crisis in an astounding fall from grace. After losing the Mumbai showpiece, Sri Lanka have unravelled in spectacular fashion, hit by resignations, match-fixing claims and a doping scandal, plus financial woes and a rocky start for their new Twenty20 league.

Trademark political turmoil, an undermining factor for years, has also come to a head after the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned governments from meddling in the sport, a stance strongly backed by ex-captain Kumar Sangakkara.

This week Sangakkara, who led Sri Lanka to the World Cup final before resigning, dropped a bombshell when he described the country’s administrators as corrupt and politicised in a landmark speech at Lord’s.

Sangakkara, 33, said players were sucked into the petty power struggles of politically appointed board members that led to “rift, ill-feeling and distrust” among team members.

Successive boards have been accused of corruption since Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup and drew a huge inflow of cash into the game, but Sangakkara’s remarks for